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Volcanic eruptions can be devastating, but with the right preparation and knowledge, you can increase your chances of survival.
In this guide, we will provide you with tips on how to survive a volcanic eruption, from before the eruption to after it has occurred.
Before the Eruption
Know the Risks
The first step in preparing for a volcanic eruption is to know the risks.
If you live in an area that is prone to volcanic activity, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers and to have an emergency plan in place.
Communicate the risks of a volcanic eruption to your family and work together to come up with an emergency plan that each member will carry out should an eruption unexpectedly happen.
Factor in unknowns such as family members getting separated or traffic blockages into your plan.
Make sure everyone knows the way to your safe meeting place.
Prepare an Emergency Kit
Put together an Emergency Kit that contains at least a 3-day supply of food and water for everyone.
Volcanoes, in particular, spew ash that is dangerous if inhaled.
Make sure you add N95 face masks to this kit for you and your family members!
You should also include first aid supplies, medications, flashlights, and a battery-powered radio.
When in doubt, go to https://ready.gov/kit/ for advice!
Identify Safe Areas
Identify safe areas in your community where you can take shelter during a volcanic eruption.
These areas should be away from the volcano and should be structurally sound.
If you are unable to evacuate the area, you should seek shelter in a building that has been designed to withstand the impact of volcanic ash.
During the Eruption
If you are caught in a volcanic eruption, the best thing you can do is to stay indoors.
Close windows, doors, vents, and any other openings that may let ash into the buildings.
If you have to go outdoors, limit your time and use a dust mask or cloth mask as a last resort if you must be outside.
Avoid areas downwind and river valleys downstream of the volcano.
Take temporary shelter from volcanic ash in the location where you are.
Cover ventilation openings and seal doors and windows.
Seek High Ground
If you’re far from shelter when an eruption occurs, climb to higher ground so you can avoid lava flows, mudflows, and flooding, which are common after an eruption.
You should also cover your mouth with a mask or cloth to avoid inhaling ash.
If you are caught in a rockfall, roll into a ball to protect your head.
If near a stream or river, be aware of rising water.
Seek care for burns right away.
Immediate care can be life-saving.
If your eyes, nose, and throat become irritated from volcanic gases and fumes, move away from the area immediately.
Your symptoms should go away when you are no longer in contact with the gases or fumes.
If the symptoms continue, consult your doctor.
After the Eruption
Wait for the All-Clear
Remain indoors until you’re told it’s safe to come out.
Keep the radio on and stay inside until you learn the danger has passed and you’re free to go outside.
Avoid Contaminated Areas
Avoid areas that have been contaminated by volcanic ash.
The ash can be harmful to your health, and it can also damage your property.
Wear a mask or cloth over your nose and mouth if you must be outside.
Clean up the ash as soon as possible.
The ash can be abrasive and can damage your property if left for too long.
Use a damp cloth or mop to clean up the ash.
Do not use a vacuum cleaner, as it can spread the ash around and damage the motor.
Stay informed about the situation in your area.
Listen to the radio or watch the news for updates.
Follow the advice of local officials and emergency services.In conclusion, surviving a volcanic eruption requires preparation, knowledge, and quick thinking.
By following the tips outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of survival and protect yourself and your loved ones from harm.